cats

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Illustration

Frazzled Cats Formed From Hundreds of Hatched Lines by Luis Coelho

June 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Meeko, Zipps, and Bubi”

Illustrator Luis Coelho uses cross-hatching and stippling to form wide-eyed and bushy-tailed cats, armadillos, and flying squirrels. The seemingly surprised stylized animals are built using carefully placed short lines that build texture and volume. Coelho, who lives in his hometown of Guimarães, Portugal, shares with Colossal that he has had a lifelong affinity for art. After studying painting and illustration in college and in Barcelona, he explored other paths for several years. Coelho returned to art in seeking the meditative qualities of the practice:

One day I gave both my two nieces a blank sheet and I told them that they would have to decide what animals should appear on those white papers and that then I would have to draw those animals for them. I also told that those animals would be the guardians of their dreams and whenever they needed to get out of a nightmare they just needed to call them. What I didn’t know at that moment was that those two drawings marked the very beginning of the style that I’m working today.

Inspired by the delight he felt in collaborating with his nieces, Coelho has focused his formerly wide-ranging art practice on animal interpretations for the young and young at heart. “Maybe because it started this way, I feel like all my creatures seem to have come out of a dream world, somewhat obscure but also adorable,” Coelho explains. Through sharing his work online, the artist has been able to leave his office job and pursue illustration full-time. You can see more from Coelho on his web shop and Instagram, where he accepts commissions. If you enjoy these critters, also look into the work of Kamwei Fong and Lindsey Thomas.

“Johnny Crumpets”

“Papami”

“Phoebe”

“Plopsy”

“Puffin”

“Panpan”

“Zipps”

 

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Design

Minimalist Modular Systems Turn Walls Into Feline Playgrounds

May 8, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Mike Wilson and Megan Hanneman, founders of CatastrophiCreations, design modular wall-mounted systems to keep cats active. Parents of humans and pets alike (myself included) are all too familiar with the trip hazard of toys scattered on the floor. Wilson and Hanneman move the activity zone to the wall with vertical playgrounds that allow cats to climb, jump, scratch, and even tip-toe across swinging bridges. Eschewing bright colors and plastic materials, the designers use solid wood, hidden brackets, and canvas to create more subtle and sustainable products. You can learn more about the the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based business in an interview and factory tour on Etsy’s blog. Check out their range of products, from the Thunderdome to the Temple Complex, in their online store.

 

 



Design

Build Your Own Robotic Cat with An Open Source Kit by Petoi

April 9, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Try your hand at robotics with Nybble, a programmable cat that walks, bats its paws, and even regains its balance after a jump from a tall surface. The cat is the brainchild of RongzhongLi of Petoi, who built the feline robot on an open source platform that runs on an Arduino micro-controller, and funded the project on Indiegogo. A wooden puzzle forms the cat’s basic frame, while a small computer imbedded in its torso directs its movements. Instructional videos for how to put the kit together can be found on Petoi’s website, and an overview of the robotic animal’s tricks and abilities can be found in the video below. (via Laughing Squid)

 

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Nycrobat. Now Nybble plays high bar better than me! #nybble #opencat #petoi #robot #quadrupedrobot #stem #robotcat

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Photography

The View From Down Under: “Under-Cats” Celebrates Cats at a New Angle

March 20, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Felines at the International Cat Show in Kaunas, Lithuania were already ready for their closeup, but they might not have been expecting these glass-bottomed glamour shots. Photographer Andrius Burba began shooting at this unique angle in 2015 with cats on a black background. In the intervening years he has documented dogs, rabbits, bicycles, and even horses. The most recent iteration swaps out the black backdrops for bright colors. Burba explains to Colossal that he places each subject on a glass surface (though we’d hazard a guess the horses stood on a sturdier material) and shoots from below, with the backdrop placed above the animal. The resulting photographs show the unique fur, eyes, and personalities of each cat, as they strike poses that convey curiosity, boredom, or annoyance. You can see the full collection from Under-Cats on the Underlook website. Underlook also shares updates on Instagram and Facebook, and offers merch in their online store. (via Design You Trust)

 

 

 



Design

A New Book Explores the Wide Range of Charming Homemade Cat Ladders in Switzerland

February 20, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Brigitte Schuster

Switzerland-based graphic designer and writer Brigitte Schuster chronicles the unique phenomenon of outdoor cat ladders in her forthcoming book, Swiss Cat Ladders. Focusing on examples in the city of Bern, Switzerland, Schuster shows how humans facilitate the comings and goings of their feline friends with a wide variety of exterior climbing structures affixed to residential buildings. Ranging from a sleek helix-type structure that’s available readymade, to more homegrown configurations that enlist tree stumps and mailboxes, the presented cat ladders allow these innately independent animals to come and go as they please. Some ladders give freedom to cats who reside on the upper stories of multi-family buildings, whereas others appear to be more suited for indulging a cat’s desire to climb.

The photo-forward book, which is bilingual in English and German, also includes diagrams and explorations of the broader cultural meaning of the ladders. Swiss Cat Ladders is expected to print in September 2019. Preorders can be placed at the bottom of this web page. (via Present & Correct)

 

 



History Photography

A New Book by Alison Nastasi Looks at the Affectionate Relationships Between Writers and Their Cats

August 20, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

In a follow-up to her best-selling book Artists and their Cats (previously), Alison Nastasi has penned Writers and Their Cats. The new book features photographs of writers past and present with their feline companions. Ranging from Elizabeth Bishop to Haruki Murakami, Nastasi’s book looks into the domestic lives of forty-five renowned novelists, poets, and journalists from around the world. Each short and sweet profile includes reminiscences on the roles writers’ cats have played in fueling creativity, providing comfort, and even getting interview subjects to open up. Writers and Their Cats will be published by Chronicle on August 21, 2018, and is available for presale in The Colossal Shop.

Gillian Flynn, photography credit: Peter Hoffman/Redux

Left: Jirō Osaragi, photography credit: Akira Ishii/Courtesy Osaragi Jirō Memorial Museum. Right: Helen Gurley Brown, photography credit: Bettmann/Getty Images

Ray Bradbury, photography credit: Topfoto

Alice Walker, photography credit: Peter Hoffman/Redux

Left: Jorge Luis Borges, photography credit: Ferdinando Scianna/Magnum Photos. Right: Judy Blume, photography credit: Bettman/Getty Images

Mark Twain, photography credit: Underwood & Underwood/New York Times/Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

 

 



Art

New Furry Collages Stretch and Distort Famous Cats and Canines

August 2, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

We just recently covered a new set of collages by Lola Dupre (previously), but couldn’t resist sharing her latest series of stretched and distorted animals. Dupre began focusing on cats and dogs after creating several works based on her own pet Charlie, who appears again in this new series. The Scotland-based artist also created collages based on Instagram-famous pets such as @hosico_cat and @mywhiskeygirl. She hopes to expand the furry series, eventually including a selection of raccoons, foxes, sheep, opossums, and more. You can purchase an original collage on her website, and follow along with the new series on tumblrInstagram, and Behance.